My Friend Is Young and Dating an Older Man And I’m Freaking Out! What Should I do?

by Reid on December 10, 2018

My Friend Is Young and Dating an Older Man And I’m Freaking Out! What Should I do?



Cathy: So, someone wrote in and said, “Hi Reid! I’m feeling super shy for emailing you but I really enjoy your videos with Cathy Vartuli and I wanted to ask some advice, if that’s okay. So, what do you think about a big age difference in relationships? I have a friend who has gotten really close to male friend and I’m starting to freak about it. She’s 28 and he’s 69. She enjoys his company, they cook together, hang out with tarot cards but he’s going away on holiday for six months and she realized how much she’ll miss him. They’ve started saying I love you – the dreaded word, and there’s some chemistry. She hasn’t had much experience with sex and relationships, so I’m really worried about her getting pulled in.”

Reid: Oh, this is her friend writing in.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: Okay.

Cathy: “I would be awful to lose this friendship but running and hiding is looking appealing right now. I know there’s a lot going on but any insight would be appreciated.”

Reid: Awesome. Well, thank you writer in error. I’m Reid Mihalko from

Cathy: Cathy Vartuli from

Reid: We love when you write us! Write us! You can leave them in the comments. And if you need to be a little more private…

Cathy: In the message…

Reid: They can do that in the messages on YouTube. You can also email me at

Cathy: Or

Reid: Cathy with “C”

Cathy: Yes.

Reid: Okay. So, this is a friend who wrote in who’s worried about her friend.

Cathy: Her friend is dating someone that looks like [inaudible 00:01:30] towards dating.

Reid: Dating or her having some sort of a relationship. Maybe a lower case in R, with an older gentleman.

Cathy: And she’s very concerned about her friend.

Reid: Older gentleman caller.

Cathy: Yes

Reid: Okay. She’s concerned about her friend because her friend is young and hasn’t had a lot of experience.

Cathy: Yes

Reid: Alright. Well, I mean my first, that’s very sweet of you to care and be worried about your friend. And first relationship geekery, do you have or have you thought about having this conversation with your friend coz ultimately, healthy relationships are about not withholding, you know, the big stuff certainly. I mean, you leave your socks lying around or something like that. Maybe you can be okay with not talking about that, that falls under wiggle room. But the big stuff, like, “Oh my god! I’m afraid for your safety, your heart.” You should be able to have those conversations. In other geeky news, you know, there is people we get worried about big age differences that could be considered ageism which you can look up on Wikipedia and stuff and learn more about that. But, where we judge people for being too young or too old, you know, all the isms, you know, people being too fat, too skinny, to this, to that. Those kind of, whatever those things are so you can check yourself a little bit to be like, okay, is this…would I be worried about her because she doesn’t have a lot of experience just in relationships or is it that he’s older. Like, just kind of check that stuff out for yourself and do the work and call yourself on those things. And then, I mean, if she’s happy and he’s a decent person and she’s a decent person, right? Because we could also…there are situations where younger people take advantage of older people…

Cathy: Yeah, it goes both place perhaps.

Reid: If everyone’s decent and trying their best and being truthful and compassionate with each other, I think everything’s okay. And definitely, somebody who’s more experienced and somebody who’s less experienced, there is a power dynamic. Somebody who’s more, you know, on in their life and maybe has accumulated wealth and things like that, there are certain power dynamics. But, it could also be everything’s fine and your friends are lucky that they found each other.

Cathy: Yeah. I think love is sometimes hard to find [inaudible 00:04:01] finding someone that is a good match whatever their age or race or size is really cool. And it can be challenging when…so, I know I’m not saying this is the case for you but for me, when I first saw Poly stuff, I went to Reid’s website years ago and I saw that he’s talking about Poly, and I run away…

Reid: Polyamory

Cathy: Polyamory. I ran away because to me that was like, oh, I can sense sleazy stuff.

Reid: Open relationships

Cathy: Yeah. And actually it was only, it was my misconception and my misunderstanding and my fears that were keeping me from meeting some really amazing people. So, just…

Reid: And, there are sleazy people in all community.

Cathy: In any…yes.

Reid: And who are clumsy and have no integrity or whatever those things are.

Cathy: Right. But, it was an opportunity for me to grow through that and realize that people get to be really cool no matter what. And it could be really sweet if like, we said, either people are taking advantage of each other. To have someone walk you through some of early experiences like dating and he made [inaudible 00:05:06] at new stuff like this, but why not have experiences with somebody who really enjoy whatever their ages.

Reid: I think that the trickiest stuff is how do you know what you don’t know, at any age. So, new experiences or trying things on for the first time especially around you know, issues of the heart, you know, that can be tricky. I mean, people get their hearts broken and get hurt when there is no age difference. So again, just kind of like, just think about for yourself. Like, what are you actually worried about? You can check out the difficult conversation formula at And that’s a great way to prep for yourself. Having and initiating a difficult conversation, something that you feel afraid that might ruin the relationship but that you’ve gotten clear that as a friend, it’s your business, and that you should not withhold those conversations. You should at least be able to talk about it. And being able to talk about anything when it’s appropriate is actually really good healthy skill set for relationships in general. And if your friend and their friend – whether they’re dating or not, if they have the skills to be able to talk about the tough stuff, maybe everything’s okay. Last thing I’ll just throw in there is some of us are working through mommy and daddy issues, and sometimes we pick people, friends – romantic folks and what not, where we’re working things out for ourselves. So, you know, if as a friend you suspect that that might be going on, one of the things and this could be even more tough to talk about is, “Hey, you know, I’m just kind of interested about this piece. Is there…?” Do people need therapy basically is what I’m getting to. I have found working and coaching people that a lot of times people are working out family stuff – parent stuff, with the people that they fall in love with – the one that they’re dating or people that they’re friends with. And, I really think everyone…just like I think everyone should work in the bar restaurant industry – everyone should be a waitress for at least a summer to learn what that’s like. I do think most people should go and like, investigate through therapy or workshop those things that they’re trying to resolve for themselves, because then it just helps open up relationships in general. That’s a whole other side ball but it’s a neat thing to think about. And I think you should think about it for yourself and I think everybody should consider those things. It’s worthwhile to look in that cabinet and take a peek on them.

Cathy: If you can, just notice who really care about your friend and that you wanted to be there for her or him. I think you actually define the genders. But, realize your caring is there and then you can just even communicate that, “Hey, I really care about you and somewhat I’m concerned about this and this. And I like to know how you’d like to be supported? How do my expression of caring be best suit to do for you?”

Reid: Yeah. Leave some comments! What do you think?

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